Though patents often never amount to anything, we sincerely hope this wacky one from Samsung does. It's an approved idea for a portable music player that also contains keys and motion detectors to let it function as a "musical instrument," too. While listening to that epic jam, you could play along by pressing keys on the side of the device as if you were fingering a guitar's fretboard. You'd be able to change position on the "guitar neck" by moving the player back and forth, and a motion detector on the side would sense the fingers on your other hand as you strum chords or pluck out a solo. Your GarageBand-style noodling, along with the original music would all blare through a speaker and amp combo on the device, to the amusement / horror of your friends. That's assuming Samsung ever builds one, of course -- but if not, our John Q. Engadget will be the first name on a petition to get it to market.
What you see above is the gTar, an upcoming electronic musical instrument from Bay Area-based startup, Incident Technologies. It's got what appears to be an iPhone docked in the pick-guard and it looks pretty cool lit up in the teaser video after the break. Beyond that, there's not a ton of information about the thing available online, but we did some digging and have pieced together a pretty good idea about the thing. The device made an appearance at South by Southwest earlier this month, and bits and pieces have made their way into the web by way of startup site AngelList and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and, of course, YouTube. A posting on the former describes it as "a consumer electronics device that enables an interactive music entertainment experience to anyone without any kind of previous musical knowledge."
From the looks of it, the thing is a little bit Guitar Apprentice and a little bit Tabber. Unlike the plasticky Guitar Apprentice, however, this device looks like a genuine guitar (strings and all), albeit one with a light up fretboard for Tabber-like educational purposes and a "docked mobile device." The guitar also makes it possible to share music socially, though it's not entirely clear whether this is accomplished via the docked smartphone or an external output like a PC, though given the company's connections to the developer community, we suspect that both will be options, be it through built-in functionality or available APIs. The gTar is also being positioned as a music creation device, rather than simply an educational tool (à la Tabber) or a simple overblown Guitar Hero-style controller.
Check out a flashy, if rather uninformative teaser after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments